More Than a Job Interview: What Other Assessment Methods Employers Use
In many companies, the candidates will have to go through several stages of selection. Between the first interview and the first day of work, a candidate might undergo a few tests, talk with a psychologist and a recruiter, group interviews and all of it might take a few months. CleverControl asked employers what other assessment tools they use in addition to interviews.
Before getting the job we all go through an interview: it seems to be the most natural and the easiest way of choosing the best. But can we consider this method accurate?
Last year, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - the largest nonprofit economic research organization in the United States - has conducted an experiment and proved that experience and intuition can fail a recruiter. The researchers observed the recruitment process of 300,000 vacancies in 15 different companies. One part of all hired candidates was selected by the people, and the other one - based on the test results and recommendations of the computer. Employees who were recommended by the machine stayed in their companies 8% longer on average than the others, and those hired by recruiters worked no better than those who was chosen by the machine.
It turns out that the usual interview is not enough to choose the ideal candidate. That is why many companies use other methods of assessment.
Cases and test tasks
What for: To follow the train of thought of the candidate and learn about his or her abilities to solve professional problems.
Who uses: 61% of employers. Not all of them use professionally developed tests, sometimes it is used in a form of a few questions during the interview.
Tests of professional knowledge
What for: to test the professional knowledge of a candidate and his or her competencies. At the same time, this test can confirm or refute the information in the resume.
Who uses: 44% of employers. Most of these tests are held engineering and technical personnel.
Personality tests and questionnaires
What for: to understand what really motivates the candidate and which competencies he or she can demonstrate on the job. Not everyone can "sell" themselves during an interview and convincingly talk about their strengths. Personality tests and questionnaires can do it for the person.
These tests do not assess the person and do not try to identify personality problems like a psychologist would during a therapy session. Recruiters are interested in finding out specific features of human behavior in work situations as well as strengths and weaknesses of a candidate: for example, the ability to persuade, the propensity to manage, to communicate with customers, to work in a team, ability to follow instructions and to analyze work results.
Who uses: 35% of employers.
Test types: professional personality questionnaire OPQ, R. Cattell’s 16PF questionnaire, Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), Eysenck Personality Questionnaire and others.
What for: to see a person “in the field” working on a task in conditions close to reality.
Assessment centre can take three hours or three days, depending on the job requirements and employer’s wishes. Usually, it is based on a business game in which several candidates are working together to solve a business problem and then present their plan to the Commission. Jobseeker goes through self-presentation, individual and team work. Often Assessment centre includes a variety of personality and aptitude tests.
Who uses: 16% of employers. This method is long and expensive. To organize it properly, companies often have to hire external conductors. Due to the complexity and cost Assessment centre is most often used to fill the most important positions in the company: sales and purchasing managers, service personnel, management staff.
What for: to identify the candidate's ability to learn and work with different types of information. This may be the test of creativity, verbal, numeric, musical abilities, and so on. These abilities determine the future success in professional and creative activity and learning.
Tests include tasks determining not only intelligence but also attention, memory, and perception. They help to understand whether the candidate is suitable for a particular type of activity. They are widely used for vocational guidance and personnel placement in the army, the navy and in public institutions.
Who uses: 57% of companies. It is often used for the assessment of young job seekers and those who want to change the type of activity: test shows the abilities of the candidate with a lack of experience, in the context of an active exploration of new knowledge.
The tests on the knowledge of foreign languages
What for: to check whether a candidate really has intermediate level, as it was listed on the resume.
Who uses: 10% of companies. Especially popular for administrative positions, for example, assistants or secretaries.
What for: the polygraph is popular in industries where lying and stealing are not acceptable for business. With the polygraph, employers check potential employees in large banks and warehouses staff, as well as special services.
Who uses: 4% of companies.